Frequently Asked Questions

Browse all FAQ below, or choose a category to find the help you need.

 

What is The Portal Connector?

The Portal Connector is the leading web portal solution for Dynamics 365 and The Power Platform. Its drag and drop, point and click configuration enables you to rapidly deliver a flexible, scalable and highly secure web portal. With seamless, two-way integration between your existing Microsoft Dynamics business information and a secure, customizable online portal it provides a more effective, accurate, and profitable Customer Service experience faster.

Watch a Video: The Portal Connector Explained in 2 Minutes.

How long has The Portal Connector been around?

The Portal Connector was created in 2013 as a customer solution to provide a more flexible, easier to manage solution then other options for Dynamics CRM. The Portal Connector has been on the mainstream market since 2014. The Portal Connector’s parent company, pavliks.com, was established in 1969. Read The Portal Connector story here

How many customers do you have? Where are they located globally?

The Portal Connector has a global customer base, located in more than 20 countries including Canada, USA, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Finland, Trinidad & Tobago, Qatar, Germany and Switzerland, to name a few! Our customers include businesses, associations and governments.

How are you different than Microsoft Dynamics 365 Portals / PowerApps Portals?

The Portal Connector is easier to use, is more cost-effective, is more customizable, and has more features and capabilities than Dynamics 365 Portals, PowerApps Portals or any other solution on the market. View a Comparison Chart here

What are the most common portals used by business?

The Portal Connector can be used to create a portal for virtually any business need. Check out the Top 5 Web Portals most used by business, and how The Portal Connector can get you started! Endless Portal Possibilities, with Unlimited Flexibility.

What is Sitefinity?

Sitefinity is an enterprise-class Content Management System (CMS) originally developed by Telerik. In late 2014 Progress (NASDAQ: PRGS) acquired Telerik and has been enhancing Sitefinity with enterprise features since. The Portal Connector is recognized as the premium Dynamics CRM/365 connector for Progress Sitefinity.

What is pavliks.com?

The Portal Connector is developed and supported by pavliks.com, a full-service computer Information Technology company providing computer networking, custom software development, Dynamics CRM / 365 solutions, website design and hosting services. While The Portal Connector was launched in 2014, it grew out of a long standing company that started in 1969. Learn more about pavliks.com

How often are new versions released?

The Portal Connector continues to bring value to Customers and Partners, with innovation and inspiration. We provide quarterly version releases with 1 major update per year. Curious what we’re currently working on? Check out The Portal Connector Roadmap!

Do you have a product roadmap?

Yes. Development of The Portal Connector never rests, as we continually strive to provide new and enhanced functions and capabilities. Check out our Product Roadmap to see what we’re currently working on!

Do you have any case studies or success stories?

Yes. Explore our featured case studies that showcase stories of how The Portal Connector’s web portal solutions have helped streamline our customer’s business processes and customer service experience:

FirstPath, a Tier-1 Telco
The Portal Connector Changed MMRO’s Value Proposition
Tecplot Manages Own Web Portal

Do you have a Partner Program?

Yes. Our Partner Program is for the Microsoft Dynamics Partner that wants to grow their pipeline by providing exceptional web portal solutions to customers. Learn more about The Portal Connector’s Partner Program 

What type of Dynamics 365 or Dynamics CRM license do I need for the portal?

The Portal Connector supports Dynamics CRM 2011-2016 and Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (CE) Online or On-Premise as well as CDS (Common Data Service).

The License type you need depends on the functionality of your portal and the access you have to the entities you need to surface. Specifically, for Dynamics 365 CE you can use an Application User or Non-Interactive user.

Can you integrate with systems other than Dynamics 365 CE and Dynamics CRM?

Currently, The Portal Connector can connect to Dynamics CRM 2011-2016 and Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (CE) – both Online and On-Premise. Your portal can also integrate with entities stored in Microsoft’s Common Data Service (CDS), which is a layer that allows other systems, such as Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations (F&O), to communicate and share data. The Portal Connector and Sitefinity also have native integrations with SharePoint, PowerBI, Marketo and many other marketing tools.

The Portal Connector 6.0 release introduces the ability to integrate with Microsoft Power Automate (Flow) and Microsoft PowerApps. This provides the ability to integrate and automate with 200+ other connectors.

Do you connect to Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations, Dynamics 365 Business Central, Dynamics AX, etc.?

The Portal Connector can integrate with entities stored in Microsoft’s Common Data Service (CDS), which is a layer that allows other systems, such as Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations (F&O), Business Central (BC), etc. to communicate and share data.

You could also surface data to Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (CE) using virtual entities. As long as the information is able to be exposed through Dynamics 365 CE or the Common Data Service, you are able to surface it on your portal.

Does The Portal Connector connect with Power Apps?

We are currently working on a Microsoft PowerApp Connector for The Portal Connector that will allow your team to build PowerApps that will create and publish site content. You will even be able to take it a step further by creating a custom experience for assigning, creating and managing users and security permissions.

Does The Portal Connector connect with Power BI?

Yes. The Portal Connector has a Power BI add-on (included in Enterprise licenses and available as an add-on for Standard licenses) that allows you to embed dashboards, tiles and reports in your web portal.

Does The Portal Connector connect with Power Automate (Flow)?

It will soon! We are currently developing a Microsoft Flow Connector for The Portal Connector that will allow interaction with common Portal Connector elements like user login, page navigation and submitting forms. It will also allow you to automate tasks like creating users and updating content.

Does The Portal Connector support the Common Data Service (CDS)?

Yes. The Portal Connector can connect with data stored in CDS.

Can The Portal Connector connect with and display data from our third-party software?

With custom development, nearly anything is possible. Contact us to further discuss.

What third-party integrations does The Portal Connector include out-of-the-box?

Currently, The Portal Connector can connect to Dynamics CRM 2011-2016 and Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement CE – both Online and On-Premise. Your portal can also integrate with entities stored in Microsoft’s Common Data Service (CDS), which is a layer that allows other systems, such as Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations (F&O), to communicate and share data. The Portal Connector and Sitefinity also have native integrations with SharePoint, PowerBi, Marketo and many other marketing tools.

The Portal Connector 6.0 release introduces the ability to integrate with Microsoft Power Automate (Flow) and Microsoft PowerApps. This provides the ability to integrate and automate with 200+ other connectors.

What versions of Sitefinity does TPC support?

The most current version of The Portal Connector (5.2) requires Sitefinity 11.0 and above. We have a one full version support cycle meaning if The Portal Connector 6.0 is release and the current version of Sitefinity is 12.2 then version 6.0 of The Portal Connector will support back to Sitefinity 11.2.

This strategy allow The Portal Connector to continue to improve and be innovative for the newest versions of Sitefinity.

We don’t want to move our website to Sitefinity. Can we still use The Portal Connector?

Yes, this is an option. In this case, you would manage your corporate website within your primary CMS, while managing your portal site using Sitefinity. You would use The Portal Connector to build out forms, grids and pages Your Portal would act as a stand-alone site (ie. portal.yourcompany.com), but it would match the look and feel of your website, providing a seamless experience for your users. Alternatively, you could create the portal elements and embed each element into your site using iFrames and the seamless.js library or something similar.

Note that approximately 9 out of 10 of our customers who go this route ultimately decide to move to Sitefinity altogether because of how easy it is to use, how full-featured it is as an enterprise class CMS, and how affordable it is relative to some other CMS options.

Is The Portal Connector compatible with all devices and browsers?

By default, The Portal Connector is 100% mobile responsive. You can customize how portal elements will render on different devices to ensure a consistent, mobile responsive design for end users.

The configuration area for The Portal Connector supports Internet Explorer 11, Firefox 3.6+, and Chrome 8+. The end-user or front-end site supports all modern browsers.

Where is the portal hosted?

Your portal can be hosted on-premise, in the cloud, or with a third-party hosting provider.

Do I have to host the portal myself??

While hosting the portal yourself (ie. on-premise) is an option, it is not required. With The Portal Connector, you can host your portal on-premise, in the cloud, or with a third party hosting provider.

What type of resources would you recommend for Azure hosting?

Hosting resources are very solution specific, depending on the average user load that you expect on your portal you should have adequate resources for that load.

Development
At a minimum, we recommend the Azure “Standard S2” tier. The Azure Standard tier provides multiple slots for staging, daily backups, and generally enough power for most portal sites

Production
When your project is put into production, or has higher load requirements, we suggest you scale up the pricing tier or instances to achieve the best performance out of your Portal. We recommend at least “Standard S3” for all production instances.

How much does The Portal Connector cost?

We offer several pricing packages for The Portal Connector. Visit our Pricing Page for full details.

What is included in the pricing? Are there any hidden costs?

When you purchase The Portal Connector license you get an enterprise-class Content Management System in Sitefinity, access to 3 priority support cases with our team, access to daily, live Q&A sessions with one of our product developers, access to our widget source code and all product updates for a full year.

The Portal Connector licence itself comes with 1 Production Domain and Unlimited Non-Production Domains (Dev, Test and UAT environments).

The Portal Connector has no hidden costs. We don't charge for logins or page views; eveything is unlimited!

Is there a limit to the number of portal pages, users or logins I can have?

No limitations! With The Portal Connector, you can create unlimited portal pages with no restrictions on portal users or logins. This is included in your license purchase and is available at no extra cost to you. Happy portaling!

How many domains are included in my license for The Portal Connector?

A license for The Portal Connector provides 1 production domain and unlimited non-production domains (DEV, Test and UAT environments). As per our license agreement, customers may only install and use The Portal Connector on one unique domain per license purchased. If you require more than one production domain, you will need to purchase an additional license for each unique domain.

What licensing options do you offer?

The Portal Connector provides a Standard License (perpetual), Enterprise License (perpetual) and a Monthly Subscription Pricing option (1-year commitment). For more information, visit our Pricing Page.

What is the difference between Standard and Enterprise licenses?

The Portal Connector Enterprise license includes all current add-ons, which are available for Standard licenses at an additional cost. Enterprise also includes features such as ecommerce, load balancing, web farm support, and support for cloud auto scaling.

Your business needs and portal requirements will determine which license you need. Visit our Pricing Page to compare licensing options and find the license that is right for your business.

Is the license perpetual?

Yes. The Portal Connector Standard and Enterprise licenses are perpetual. 

What is a perpetual license?

A perpetual license provides licensees the right to the product for life. This means you can continue to use The Portal Connector if you opt not to renew. However, without license renewal, you will not gain access to additional free priority support case or, more importantly, all of the great new features we release with each new version.

Do you offer a SaaS license?

No. However, we do offer a Monthly Subscription licensing option (one year commitment) that provides all features from The Portal Connector Standard and all add-ons. Visit our Pricing Page to learn more.

Is your subscription pricing for a SaaS offering?

Not quite. Our Monthly Subscription licensing option is a term license (one year commitment), but maintenance and infrastructure such as hosting is not included and is your responsibility.

What support do I get with my license purchase?

We provide Weekly Live Training, unlimited Live Daily Q&A Sessions, a Community Support Forum, and an extensive Developer Network library with technical and configuration documents. Your license also provides you with 3 priority support tickets to gain access to product developers and architects as required. Learn more about our Support Options

What happens to unused support tickets? Do they carry forward?

Support tickets need to be used within the purchase or renewal year as they do not carry forward from renewal to renewal.

How much does it cost to renew?

On the anniversary of the license purchase, Maintenance and Support renewal for an additional year is available at a cost of 30% of the current list price of the license.

Is license maintenance optional?

Yes, maintenance renewal is optional. On the anniversary of the license purchase, Portal Connector customers are able to renew maintenance and support for another year. See the Benefits of keeping License Renewals up-to-date

What is included with license maintenance?

Maintenance and Support renewals include 3 priority support cases, continued access to Live Daily Q&A sessions, as well as access to the latest version of The Portal Connector. Note, installation of the upgrade is not included.

I already have Sitefinity. What are my licensing options?

Glad to hear it! Needless to say, we are huge fans of Sitefinity. If you already have the latest version of Sitefinity, you can purchase a stand-alone license for The Portal Connector at a discounted rate. Please Contact Us to discuss.

Can you help with implementation or is it entirely our responsibility?

We want to ensure the success of your web portal, both for the initial implementation and ongoing support. While implementation is your responsibility, The Portal Connector provides documentation to assist with this process. Customers also have access to our Customer Success Manager who is here to help ensure a successful implementation and provide assistance if you hit any snags along the way. For customers requiring full resources to handle the entire implementation, this is a service we can offer. Contact Us to discuss in further detail.

How do I download an update for The Portal Connector?

Upgrading to the latest version of The Portal Connector involves the following steps:

- Take a backup of all website files and a backup of the database
- Login to The Portal Connector customer portal to download the release file
- Extract the contents of the .ZIP file
- Complete any other required actions, as outlined in the “Breaking Changes” section of the Release Notes

What happens to my portal if I upgrade my CRM / 365 instance?

Because The Portal Connector engine is outside of CRM / 365, upgrading your CRM / 365 does not impact your web portal at all. Once the upgrade is complete, you simply need to connect The Portal Connector to the new CRM / 365 instance – no downtime or disruption to your web portal, and no complicated development involved.

Is the upgrade process difficult?

Not at all. Upgrading to the latest version of The Portal Connector can be done in just a few easy steps:

- Take a backup of all website files and a backup of the database
- Login to The Portal Connector customer portal to download the release file
- Extract the contents of the .ZIP file
- Complete any other required actions, as outlined in the “Breaking Changes” section of the Release Notes

What type of training and support is offered?

With The Portal Connector, you get the training and support you need, when you need it! From UNLIMITED Weekly Training Sessions, LIVE Daily Q&A Sessions, Online Forums and Online Case Submission, you get fast access to our knowledgeable team of professionals. Learn more about our Training and Support Options

Do you have a trial or demo that I can evaluate?

Yes of course.  Complete the form found here to have one created for you. We will then contact you directly and send you documentation on how to complete the install.

If you do not have a test CRM instance, you can easily create a free 30 day CRM Online trial. Please note that for trial purposes, the CRM instance that we connect to must be an IFD (Internet Facing Deployment).

How do I submit a support ticket?

To submit a support ticket for The Portal Connector, click here.

Note: you will be prompted to login to your account in order to submit a ticket.

Do you provide custom development services?

Yes. The Portal Connector can help with customization questions via support tickets, daily Q&A sessions, or we can offer custom development as a service for a fee. Contact Us to discuss in more detail.

Does the trial version of The Portal Connector come with any examples or pre-built functionality, or do I have to start from scratch?

A trial of The Portal Connector comes with some pre-built portal elements, such as profile management functionality, case management functionality, knowledge base articles and more.

Note: the trial version is only to review, demonstrate and evaluate the software, and contains certain limitations.

If I purchase a license for The Portal Connector after my trial version, can I transfer the portal elements I have built out so far to my new portal site?

Yes, but it is not recommended. The trial version is simply to review, demonstrate and evaluate The Portal Connector. Any development work completed in the trial site may not be able to be migrated to a licensed Portal Connector site.

How does The Portal Connector communicate with Dynamics CRM / 365?

The Portal Connector integrates with Dynamics CRM/365 using Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 SDK API. The Portal Connector Dynamics solution consists of 6 entities and is used primarily for user management.

What actually connects the website to CRM – is this something custom or proprietary?

The Portal Connector was created using Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 API, though we could have created our own custom connector this would have been problematic for our customers when new versions of CRM are released.  By adhering to Microsoft’s standards and using their tools we are able to ensure that future version of CRM will be supported as they are released.

What skills do I need to build and manage a portal using The Portal Connector?

The Portal Connector provides a consistent, visual and intuitive drag and drop, point and click environment, that makes it easy to build and manage your web portal without knowing a line of code! For deeper customization basic HTML and CSS skills can be applied.

Do I need to know HTML and CSS?

Not necessarily! You can build and manage your portal without the need for coding, custom programming, or other complex technical requirements. However, we do provide the option to customize EVERY aspect of the portal using C# and virtually any JavaScript, CSS or HTML framework, should you have those skills.

Does The Portal Connector allow for customization?

Most definitely! The Portal Connector is completely and easily customizable to match your business branding and requirements. All portal controls, pages, grids, lists, form, even down to individual fields, have customizable elements.

With our open API, you can customize EVERY aspect of the portal using C# and virtually any JavaScript, CSS or HTML framework. We even provide our widget source code to allow for custom widget development.

Can I customize my portal interface to match my company styling?

Absolutely! The Portal Connector’s drag and drop interface with full customization makes it easy to create templates that allow you to apply standard styles and branding to all portal web pages. All portal controls, pages, grids, lists, form, even down to individual fields, have customizable presentation elements.

Can I have internal users access the portal?

Of course! Your portal can be used by both external customers, vendors, partners, etc. as well as internal functions. There are no limits to the number of internal or external portal users you can have. Internal users may need Dynamics CRM/365 licensing in most scenarios.

Can I restrict the data that each user can access?

Yes. The Portal Connector provides you with complete control over which users can access and/or interact with certain data. You can easily create security roles and apply them to specific pages in the portal or to individual items on a portal page to control access.

Does The Portal Connector support multiple languages?

Yes. The Portal Connector supports 140+ languages, including right to left language support, language cultures, multi-lingual cultures and multi-byte character languages. If you have a global customer base and want to provide an exceptional web portal for all, The Portal Connector has your back! Learn more about Delivering a Multilingual Web Portal Experience

Does The Portal Connector support open-authentication?

Yes. The Portal Connector allows users to sign into your portal website with their social media account. New users will have a contact record created for them in Dynamics CRM / 365, in addition to providing them with a Sitefinity login. Support for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are provided out of the box, with the option to configure other custom authentication methods as well.

Can I enable SSL for my portal site?

Yes. You will need a valid SSL certificate for your domain and applied to your site in IIS. Click here for more information

Can I load balance The Portal Connector?

Support for load-balanced, webfarm and auto-scale environments is included in The Portal Connector Enterprise licenses.

Does The Portal Connector support SAML2?

Yes, The Portal Connector can be customized to use SAML2.

Do the Microsoft API limitations affect your solution?

The Portal Connector solution adheres to the licensing limitations and functionality provided by the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform, including API limitations. The API limitations do not affect the functionality or performance of The Portal Connector platform unless the API threshold of your Dynamics licensing is breached in which case The Portal Connector is designed to handle it gracefully with retry functionality and warnings.

Do I need SQL Server to use The Portal Connector?

The Portal Connector requires a database and supports Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft SQL Express, Oracle or MySQL. The Portal Connector recommends Microsoft SQL Server.

Does The Portal Connector offer charity pricing?

Yes, we do. Please contact us for more details.

What CRM entities are supported out-of-the-box?

All CRM entities, including any custom entities you may have created, are supported immediately.

My CRM installation isn’t IFD (Internet Facing Deployment). Is this an issue?

Not at all – using standard CRM web services we can attain the same result and connect your CRM to The Portal Connector.